News

Photo by Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA News

About 20 of Pittsburgh’s independent music venues and promoters have joined a national effort to get federal relief for their industry, which has been sidelined during the coronavirus pandemic. Venues and promoters that present music and comedy said the shutdown has hit them especially hard, and there is no end in sight.

Trump Campaign Sues PA Over Mail-In Drop-Off Sites For Ballots

Jun 29, 2020
Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, the national Republican Party and four western Pennsylvania members of Congress sued Monday to force changes to how the state collects and counts mail-in ballots under revamped rules.

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

 


On today's program: A look at what economic recovery from the shutdown might look like in southwestern Pennsylvania; YWCA Greater Pittsburgh returns to its core mission; and as businesses across the country reopen, music venues continue to struggle. 

Matt Rourke / AP

Allegheny County reported Monday that another 83 residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. These new cases comprise nearly 17 percent of all cases reported in Pennsylvania on Monday.

A half-dozen people involved in a June 1 East Liberty protest have filed a federal lawsuit against city of Pittsburgh officials, alleging that police violated their civil rights and “escalat[ed] a peaceful protest into a scene of pandemonium, panic, violence and bloodshed.”

Katie Blackley / WESA

Prosecutors asked a judge to stiffen the home confinement and probation sentences imposed on a former librarian and a bookseller who pleaded guilty in the theft of rare books from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in a years-long scheme.

Common Pleas Judge Alexander Bicket sentenced 56-year-old John Schulman earlier this month to four years of home confinement and 64-year-old Gregory Priore to three years of home confinement. Both were ordered to spend a dozen years on probation after completing their sentences.

Erin Keane Scott / 90.5 WESA

News on the coronavirus pandemic, protests, 2020 election and more from around Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and southwestern Pennsylvania. 

Find all of the WESA Daily Briefing posts here

Editor's note: This post will be frequently updated with the latest news.

 

5:07 p.m. - Lawmakers move bill related to election reform

Argo AI

When a human drives a car, they know that what they see at any given moment may not completely represent potential obstacles in their path. For example, a truck could block a human driver’s vision of a pedestrian crossing the street, but a reasonable driver would consider that someone could be in the crosswalk before proceeding when a traffic light turns green.

Autonomous vehicles struggle with that concept.

Courtesy of Allegheny Health Network

Surgery suites at Allegheny Health Network have a new piece of equipment to protect against the novel coronavirus.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

In response to a recent rise in COVID-19 cases that Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald called “alarming,” the county is prohibiting on-site consumption of alcohol at bars and restaurants. The order takes effect at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Allegheny County health officials today reported 96 new COVID-19 cases, the second straight day that it has posted a record number of infections.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Protesters gathered in Mellon Park in Pittsburgh’s East Liberty neighborhood Saturday afternoon, for the fourth consecutive Civil Saturdays event. The weekly demonstrations against systemic racism and police brutality are organized by high schoolers and recent graduates with the group Black, Young, & Educated.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

The Allegheny County Health Department on Saturday announced 90 new cases of COVID-19, the highest daily total since reporting on the pandemic began in mid-March.

Ariel Worthy / 90.5 WESA

Demonstrators gathered outside the Target in East Liberty on Friday to protest the treatment of Black people by law enforcement. Such protests have taken place in Pittsburgh since late May, following the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. 

Jared Murphy and Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

As protests against police brutality sweep across the country, polling suggests most Americans support law-enforcement reform. In our year-long Split Ticket series, we’ve been asking four voters about the issues that could sway their decision at the ballot box. This month, the many reported acts of police brutality – and the President’s response to them – have deepened one voter’s commitment to be heard in November.

Rep. Jordan Harris / Twitter

The coalition of lawmakers leading a push for police reform in Pennsylvania’s legislature say that, despite some major victories this week, they’re still wary that the GOP-controlled body could fall short of making the fundamental changes they think law enforcement needs.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The number of COVID-19 cases in Allegheny County continues to spiral upward. The county’s Department of Health reported 61 new cases of the disease Friday, the highest one-day total since April 23.

Brian Siewiorek / WYEP

The City of Pittsburgh has formed a task force to address the issue of fireworks being set off in parks and residential areas. During the first three weeks of June, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police received 137 complaints about fireworks, a nearly four-fold increase from the same period last year.

Pennsylvania Officials Eye Areas Where COVID-19 Cases Rising

Jun 26, 2020
Gov. Tom Wolf

Pennsylvania health officials are looking closely at areas where COVID-19 infection rates and deaths are ticking back up, threatening to turn back progress against the pandemic, the state's health secretary said Friday.

Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

For the first time in more than 160 years, the Big Butler Fair has been canceled. Like county fairs across the country, fairs in Western Pennsylvania have been called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But a handful of food vendors are still serving sausage sandwiches, fresh lemonade, funnel cakes and fried Oreos this summer.

Erin Keane Scott / 90.5 WESA

News on the coronavirus pandemic, protests, 2020 election and more from around Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and southwestern Pennsylvania. 

Find all of the WESA Daily Briefing posts here

Editor's note: This post will be frequently updated with the latest news.

 

4:25 p.m. - Protesters return to East Liberty, chanting support for Black trans women

Kate Landis / PA Post

Kareem Anthony showed up outside the Lancaster Recreation Center on Thursday with plans to protest former vice president Joe Biden’s failure to meet with local Black Lives Matter protesters during his Thursday trip to Pennsylvania.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Anger over entrenched racism and white supremacy in American culture is boiling over, after the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and other black people at the hands of police and private citizens. Regular protests continue in Pittsburgh and across the country, but many activists have pivoted from simply expressing rage to making demands.

And, after more than a month of COVID-19 case counts trending downward, Allegheny County saw a spike over the past week. Since last Friday, the county has reported 199 new cases.

PA Lawmakers Hear From Industry, Environmental Advocates On Impact Of Cap-And-Trade Program

Jun 26, 2020
Reid Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

State senators are weighing the risks and benefits of Pennsylvania joining a regional cap-and trade-program targeting greenhouse gases.

Ed Mahon / PA Post

Legislation that would limit the governor’s ability to restrict access to guns during a disaster emergency declaration is moving through the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

Kimberly Paynter / WHYY

A Philadelphia SWAT officer caught on video using pepper spray on a group of protesters at close range during a demonstration on I-676 will be fired, and the police commander who greenlit the use of these less-than-lethal munitions will accept a voluntary demotion, officials announced Thursday.

PA Grand Jury Report On Fracking: DEP Failed To Protect Public Health

Jun 25, 2020
Susan Phillips / StateImpact Pennsylvania

A Pennsylvania grand jury report wo years in the making slammed the Department of Environmental Protection for failing to protect the public from the health effects of fracking.

Ted S. Warren / AP

 

On today's program: Pennsylvania’s Lieutenant Governor is encouraging people with nonviolent marijuana-related convictions to apply for pardons; a new executive order aims to limit the number of legal immigrants coming to the U.S.; and polls suggest most Americans support police reform, but how might that impact their choices at the ballot box in November? 

Biden, Trump Stage Rare Dueling Events In Pandemic Era

Jun 25, 2020
ALEX BRANDON & Matt Rourke/AP

Both President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, are swinging through key battleground states on Thursday, presenting dueling events in a way that hasn't happened much in the age of coronavirus and that will showcase their contrasting styles in response to the pandemic.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Senate Democrats in Washington blocked a Republican attempt at police reform Wednesday, saying it did not mandate actual change.

Pages